Google Places Makes a Change , Bye Bye 3rd Party Review Sites! Hello Google Reviews

 

Google-Places
How it was before and what has changed short and sweet. BEFORE google places took website reviews from online websites such as yelp, citysearch, insider pages, demandforce, kudzo, yahoo, and of course google reviews. It then showed a star rating and summed up the total.. NOW it only shows the total and star rating for google reviews.

How this changes the game of online marketing?

(a) a bad yelp review won’t hurt your star rating on google places.

(b) having 100 reviews from demandforce is not boosting your overall reviews #.

(c) companies that only focus on generating reviews for you on they’re website to increase your star rating now have no purpose.

It is important to mention however that even though the star rating algorithm has changed, building a web presence is as valuable as ever. Having reviews on all these sites are great and google did not change ranking. What this means is that  although your 100 reviews are not totally they are still effecting if you show up in 1st page of google places aka the 7-pack A-G listings.

 

For reference here is a news article from Tech Crunch:

http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/21/google-places-stops-stealing-reviews/

“Google Places looks different. It is cleaner, and there is a much bigger emphasis on user reviews and photos. And not just any reviews from all over the Web, but reviews written by Google users themselves. This should be a welcome change to third-party sources of reviews like Yelp and TripAdviser who have long complained that Google was building Google Places on the backs of their content while at the same time trying to replace them. Now Google Places no longer shows those reviews on Places pages for a specific venue, nor does it count them in the total number of reviews which it shows for each place. Instead, it links to the reviews from sites like Yelp, Zagat, and Citysearch separately and breaks out total review counts for each site. For instance, the Google Places page for Paxti’s Chicago Pizza in San Francisco went from 1,110 reviews to 171 reviews after the non-Google reviews were stripped out.”

 

How to deal with negative reviews about your business | Online Reputation | Review Sites

I have seen business owners so consumed over negative reviews they lose attention to doing what they need to be doing.. running they’re business. A negative review can consume and devour the mind of a business owner, especially one that take great pride in thier work. Here are the top 3 tips to get help with a possible fake negative review.

  1. Never comment or reply to point out that it’s a fake complaint. Even if it is – and even if you have proof. It’ll only make you seem argumentative and it creates doubt and distrust. Remember: how you conduct yourself professionally online reflects on your business, it is important to focus the attention away from the negative comment and towards a solution to make things right;  that’s going to win over new customers in the end.
  2. Try to flag the review so that website administrator can remove it. Sites like Yelp and Google’s Place Pages offer a way for users to flag reviews as inappropriate. This process is not immediate, however, and won’t guarantee that a flagged review will get removed or even filtered out of view going forward. This approach is more “crossed fingers” than “set in stone,” but it has a better chance of working if the review in question contains profanity, personal attacks, or is generally off-topic and unprofessional.
  3. Rally your fans, followers and favorite customers to flood sites with positivity. Remember, it’sagainst FTC Guidelines to offer any financial incentive in exchange for online reviews. But it’s well within your right to ask your loyal customers and advocates to post their own reviews out of the kindness of their hearts. When it comes to putting online reviews into context (LifeHacker andThe Consumerist both have great guides on this), both quality and quantity come into play. So encourage your happy customers to share their authentic experiences in clear, appropriate language to help balance the conversation about your business reputation online.

Want to learn more? give me a call. Talal

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Google+ Vs. Facebook | Video Chat Comparison | News Article

“Video chat is turning out to be a popular feature for social networking; we tried out both Facebook’s new Video Calling and Google+ Hangout.”

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9218244/Hands_on_Facebook_Video_Calling_vs._Google_Hangout

Facebook Video Calling

“Facebook’s new Video Calling service is powered by Skype; perhaps because of that, it’s simple and straightforward to use. You’ll first need to download a plug-in by going to www.facebook.com/videocalling, clicking on the Get Started button, then on the Setup button. At that point, you’ll download and install a Java plug-in.”

Google+ Hangout

“When more than two people participate in a Hangout, the large image shows whoever is talking — Hangout chooses which person will be center stage depending on audio feedback. If several people talk at the same time, the video goes back and forth from one to another.”

goo-vs-face